Minimize hostility and post-divorce controversy
Mediation is more difficult, but not impossible when one spouse claims that the other was legally responsible for the divorce (something you cannot claim in every state). You should seriously consider hiring a lawyer if your spouse already has. You lawyer can help you determine if mediation is worthwhile based on your specific situation. Divorce mediation is a good option for divorces that don’t involve these types of situations. This is especially true when both parties are willing to compromise.
Do not reject mediation because your partner and you see the same issue differently. In other words, do not give up on mediation before it has even begun. divorce is an effective process. Many cases that seemed impossible at first end in settlements.
You and your spouse both hire collaborative lawyers who are specially trained to represent you during settlement negotiations. There is no mediator or judge involved. Both spouses sign an “no-court” agreement, which requires that the attorneys withdraw from the case in the event of a failure to reach a resolution and the case is taken to court. The spouses will need to hire new attorneys in this situation.
If the divorce negotiations are unsuccessful, then you’ll have to restart your divorce with new lawyers. The fear of having to pay for (and find) a brand new lawyer is often enough to motivate spouses to reach an agreement. You can speak to the mediator, or an assistant, before the mediation and give background information on your marriage, family and divorce issues. You may be asked to fill out a form by your mediator. You might be asked to prepare a “mediation report” that outlines your personal information, and any divorce issues you feel need resolution.
You may also be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, which states that all information discussed in mediation will remain confidential.
If you are not doing online mediation, the mediation session is usually conducted in a comfortable conference room. Others may separate the couples into different rooms to have private conversations. Couples who are represented by attorneys at mediation may be asked to have a private meeting with the mediator before the session begins.
You and your spouse will both have the opportunity to speak briefly about the situation after the mediator has taken care of the housekeeping, such as setting the agenda. The mediator may ask questions after you have each spoken to get clarification or more information. You may be asked to repeat your arguments or to summarize them to make sure that the mediator understands what you are trying to convey.
The mediator will draft an agreement, and in some cases, parenting plans or schedules, once you have completed negotiations. The settlement agreement you receive will only include the issues that were resolved in mediation. If you can’t agree on everything, either you and the other party will have to resolve the issues at a later date or you may ask the court to make a decision after the court hearing.